Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition
Upstream People Gallery is delighted to once again host the “8th Annual Judeo-Christian Art International Online Juried Exhibition” with forty-three selected artists from the U.S. and other parts of the world. What a thrill to witness artworks that have been inspired, are a result of the interior life or as a result of prayer.
Some of the comments about those works that are especially recognized are as follows:
Vahan Ananyan of Odessa, Ukraine, has some richly textured works that depict aspects of the Old Testament through the birth of Christ to “The Taking Off The Cross” which dramatizes with such textural manipulation of oil, the intensity of the event. The lighter gold surrounding the head of Jesus is especially appropriate.
Jim Barry of Pasadena, CA, presents an arresting visual panorama in his print of a virtual sculptural painting (painting in open space w/tracked "wand", VR glasses. “Dancing Too Close to the Flame” strongly captures a large scaled fire-like area above a suggested land formation thus in proximity gives a great tension.
Chrystal Bates from Boynton Beach, Fl, uses a quite creative depiction of Christ on the Cross together with an overlapping image of Christ as the Merciful Savior. “For Us, Have Mercy On Us and the Whole World” also emphasizes the horizontality in the reaching out His arms to people of all kinds.
D. J. Bates of Omaha, NE, provides a richly colored red rose in the upper part of crossing lattice work. Amidst the blooming of other types of flowers is an arrangement of vine-like thorns in the shape of a heart. “The Perfect Rose” is a nice metaphor to the perfection of Jesus.
James Blankenship of Festus, MO, uses colored pencil with precision in his work “He’s Got The Whole World” and we could continue with: in his hand, like the song goes. This drawing says it all especially in terms of trust.
David Blow from Hickory Creek, TX masters digital techniques in his very interesting work entitled “Overcome Evil with Good”. The contrasting of two spherical realms, one warm and one cool, with text reiterating the message and the school of fish suggesting a teaching, gives the viewer the solution.
Lynn Krogman Ceglar shows seven masterful icons for this year’s show. All the works; “St. John the Baptist”, The Apostle Paul”, The Apostle Peter”, The Archangel Gabriel”, The Archangel Michael” and “The Virgin” are painted with the figures shown in a subtle side view, whereas her larger work “The Saviour Enthroned” presents a front view of Jesus seated magnificently on a throne. What strength is captured in the iconographic style in the standard egg tempera and gold. These are indeed wonderful!
Nat Cole of Tarrytown, NY, in her adventurous use of mixed media, collage and construction shows a very contemporary visualization in her wing series. (A+B) “House with Wings” is interesting when considering the house as the body or mind and having the spirituality which is represented by the wings. This is a strong direction.
Joseph E Criscuoli of Laurel, MD shows “The Crucifixion” from the vantage point high up on the cross as if seen from the same height which may imply that the viewer can identify with the cross, their own cross perhaps.
Renée Dumont of Blackstone, MA, in the detailing expertise presents a very strong impact in three oil painting “Our Labor”. And in “Called To Serve” the message of serving one another continues.
Alton Falcone of Stony Brook, NY, creates an ambitious and accomplished installation in the work “Trisagion”. From the ground to the ceiling an impact is made with the heavier material perhaps suggesting the earthly realm, and the light material suggesting the higher realm. This work is impressive also in the twisting movement as well as dark to light arrangement.
Nicora Gangi of Syracuse, NY, is a master painter as seen in her work “Letter to the Ephesians” in which the compilation of books, the rose buds, the reference to time and music, the painting within the painting and the smoke from the candle altogether with a soothing light reflecting gives work richness. Her work “This Very Night” also in pastel presents much symbolism as well. The idea of time, life and death is present.
Cliff Kearns of London, Ontario, Canada is prolific with his concept of renewal. In “Renew #4” of the series, symbolism is quite apparent with the tree as the tree of life, the hands as being open to the Holy Spirit in union with the white glowing cross and glowing communion host with the community. All of his works give a sense of hope and trust.
Jennifer Myers Kirton of Mount Dora, FL meticulously shows “Creation” with the hand of God, the created Adam and the grouping of animals and plants as if flowing from Gods hand. In her work “The Way” the use of ink and oil adds character to the concept of the way of the cross, centrally located and on the path.
Terrie L. Martin of Wooster, OH, shows strong artwork in watercolor and india ink. The drama created with such a light and dark contrast gives emphasis to both messages. In “A Call To Worship” an emphatic movement from the uplifted face down with the arms and up again with the lifted hands is quite impressive. “Hanna” in watercolor, is outstanding in capturing the deep, heartfelt praying at the Wailing Wall. The dark background juxtaposed next to the light wall is significant indeed.
Douglas Osburn of Louisville, KY, in his “The Orion Tree” presents a panorama of what could be a sense of the Garden of Eden because of the lusciousness of the land. The play of light enhances the space with the flow most intriguing as it flows in three streams in the sky area.
Mitchell Scherer of Bloomington, MN uses the interesting material of wood veneer tiles to create natural toned, in mosaic methods, two tender works, “Christ Crucified” and “Christ in the Wilderness”. Both reinforce a meditative quality felt through the imagery as well as the process.
Rosario Trevino of Sn Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, combines oil and acrylic in the large work entitled “The Sound of Unity is Silence” giving several beautiful landscapes collectively suggesting a connectedness to God through His Creation where it is quiet and peaceful.
Rose Van Vranken of Madison, WI, shows several of her sculptural works. In "Theotokos" from the collection at St. Cyril of Alexandria Church, the strength of the Mother of God holding the Child Jesus is magnificently characterized in the material of bronze.
Michael Weidrich of Albany, NY, in his digital print “Visitation” provides the idea of heavenly messengers appearing to man which is recorded in church history. The arched framing works nicely with the content.
Jackie Zagon of Eastport, NY uses photoshop to depict two works from the Old Testament. “Women in the Old Testament: Rebecca Dresses Jacob in Goatskin” and “Women in the Old Testament: the Annunciation of Sarah” are excellent renditions of this history. Sarah’s expression is truly awesome.
Many thanks to all the selected artists who give witness not only to their talent but give witness of their faith!
Curator, Professor of Art